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Canadian pension fund CEO: BlackBerry sale ‘the most bizarre sales process I’ve seen’

October 9th, 2013 at 8:00 AM
BlackBerry Fairfax Deal Criticism

If you have no idea what’s going on with Fairfax’s plan to buy out BlackBerry, don’t worry — prospective investors seem in the dark as well. Leo de Bever, the CEO of Canadian pension fund Alberta Investment Management Corporation, tells Bloomberg that he’d consider putting some money into BlackBerry if he had any understanding of how Fairfax’s plan was supposed to work.

“It’s the most bizarre sales process I’ve seen in a long time,” he said. “We’re looking at it but nobody’s come to us with a proposal that makes any sense.”

In particular de Bever said that his firm has had a difficult time really evaluating BlackBerry’s value on an asset-by-asset basis and that Fairfax hasn’t really shown it has a strong plan to convince investors to sign on.

“Usually somebody comes to you and says ‘this is what we have in mind, we’ve got an operational partner for this, this is how we’re going to deal with this asset and that constraint and this possibility,” de Bever said. “There’s detailed business plans. Sometimes we initiate it. On this one, it’s a tough nut.”

In the end, de Bever sees BlackBerry being broken up and sold in pieces largely because investors don’t have any idea how to really determine the worth of the entire company as a whole.

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